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Business Strategy – Lecture 5 Generic Strategies at the Business

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1 Business Strategy – Lecture 5 Generic Strategies at the Business
John Birchall

2 Objectives To be able to: Classify business-unit strategies using
Porter’s generic model Bowman’s clock Identify and evaluate ‘fit’ and ‘stretch’ Link these concepts to the perspectives of inside-out and outside-in

3 Linking Purpose to Action
Strategy Context Broad and Operating Environments Strategy Content Business Definition, Competitive Strategies Organisational Purpose Vision, Mission, Ethics Strategy Process Involves Stakeholders Adapted from Harrison (2003: 37) and De Wit & Meyer (2005: 5)

4 Business Definition Explains how the organisation wants to make its vision work (Harrison 2003: 124) Whose needs are being served? Concept of competitive advantage: Customer needs come first Profits: - gained by effectively satisfying these needs - can be used to satisfy other stakeholders What is to be produced, or what services delivered - and how? Theme for today

5 Strategic Decisions Will commit a substantial share of the organisation’s resources in the medium or long term Can affect the firm’s overall scale and scope How big relative to competitors? How heavily focused on specific industries? How much control of the industry supply chain? How to compete within an industry? Can change the pattern of relationships with key stakeholders

6 Generic strategies 1: the classic approach (Porter 1996)
Positioning: an outside-in approach look outwards towards the customers, and the competition Fit: within the value chain, make sure the functions are managed consistently reinforce each other have no weak links Trade-off: commit to a distinctive or unique strategy that rules out other choices Avoid getting ‘stuck in the middle’

7 Cost Cutting or Quality Gains?
Michael Porter: earliest and simplest statement (1980) Competitive Strategy (1985) Competitive Advantage COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE Lower Cost Differentiation COMPETITIVE SCOPE Broad Target NarrowTarget Cost Leadership Differentiation Focus

8 Differentiation Word Games
Differentiation in Porter’s model: High quality, tailored to customer needs Can be expensive to produce Customers may be willing to pay more Differentiation in ordinary English: Distinctiveness, difference from competitors Mintzberg et al (2003: 121, 130) say that low prices can provide this But what happens if you offer low prices without low costs?

9 Generic strategies 2: embracing innovation and complexity (Harrison 2003:150)
Three main decisions within a generic strategy: Range of customers (broad or narrow market) Level of quality (as perceived by consumers) Cost structure (patterns of resource use) Three main value/price combinations: Cost leadership: lower value, lower price Differentiation: higher value, higher price Best value: higher value at lower price Best value (hybrid) strategies challenge Porter’s insistence on trade-offs Best value businesses are often innovators, not ‘stuck in the middle’

10 The Strategy Clock: Bowman’s Broader Range
High Differentiation Focused differentiation Hybrid 4 3 5 PERCEIVED PRODUCT / SERVICE BENEFITS Low price 6 2 7 1 Low price/ low added value Strategies destined for ultimate failure 8 Low Low PRICE High Source: Johnson, Scholes and Whittington (2005: 243), based on Bowman, C. and Faulkner, D.O. (1996) Competitive and Corporate Strategy. London: Irwin. 12

11 A Visual Metaphor (Mintzberg et al 2003: 127-138)
Rockets come in all shapes and sizes – will ours fit the landing site? – does it have enough fuel to get us there? 2

12 Word Games Again: The Mintzberg Meaning of ‘Fit’
Fitting the product/service to its market (Mintzberg et al 2003: 127), rather than Integrating the links within the value chain (Porter 1996) Examples of good fit, Mintzberg style: Mass market: single standardised product Segmented market: range of products matched to different segments Niche: small segment, excellent fit Customisation: perfect fit

13 Mass Market Poor fit, low price Product Market

14 Cost Leadership (Harrison 2003: 150-155)
Some Keys to Success: High Capacity Utilization plus accurate demand forecasting Economies of Scale Technological Advances Outsourcing Learning / Experience Effects

15 Niche Market (Focus) Close fit of product to small specialised market

16 Focus Strategy Often linked to high-price differentiation
Lowest-cost and best-value versions exist Success depends on catering to a particular market segment: target marketing Must identify segment Must assess and meet the needs of the segment better than competitors May also be called a “niche” strategy

17 Packing Strategy Support product with add-on services

18 From Value Chain to Value System
Cost leadership Depends on tight control of suppliers and distributors too Differentiation/focus Requires good information flows between sales agents and in-house design teams “Packing” strategy strong after-sales support complementary products supporting brands Implies a well co-ordinated system

19 From Fit to Stretch: The Resource-Based View
An ‘inside-out’ approach Can the competences developed for one product/market be stretched to suit another? Can we find a good use for our capabilities? If we develop new strengths, can we change the rules of the game? Link to technical and strategic innovation, globalisation and corporate-level strategy

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